Thurzó grew up in a family of musicians, taking up piano at aged 5, so music as always been a key aspect of his life.
Now, as an experienced concert pianist, Thurzó knew he wanted to take on a challenge that combined his love of playing the piano with his passion for hiking and the outdoors.
Concert between the clouds
An incredible 5,326 metres above sea level, near-zero temperatures and a determined pianist. Romanian Zoltán Thurzó, back on 13 June, played an unconventional concert, for which he got into setting the newest Guiness World Record for “Highest altitude grand piano performance” category. These days, he has received official confirmation from the commission that he has indeed defended the world record.
In Nepal, at one of the stations on the way to the summit of Mount Everest, Thurzo played 63 pieces, 37 classical piano piece, and 26 national hymns of various countries, at one to three degrees Celsius.
The performance was meant to highlight the power of classical music, and also to consolidate the peaceful coexistence of peoples with different cultures.
Complicated process of transporting the piano
The piano was transported by a helicopter whose doors were removed to accommodate the grand instrument. On June 13, over one week and two days later than the planned date, the grand piano finally reached its destination. Not less than an hour after touching down on the snow, the piano was already in use, and the concert that was to become the highest-altitude concert ever performed.
More about the record
Zoltán Thurzó’s aim with the Anthem in the air project was not only to break the Guinness record, but also to promote the music history museum in Oradea, which will be dedicated to his grandfather, violinist Sándor Thurzó.
The current record was held by the British singer Evelina De Lain, who gave a concert on 6 September 2018 in the Shingo-La mountain range in India at an altitude of 4,946 metres.
Thurzó revealed that he hopes his world record is not the only one, but did not give any further information for now, promising fans that he will come back with details.
Last year, Thurzó had another attempt to break a record and wanted to give the longest piano concert. He had to play 6 days and 6 nights, that is 130 hours without interruption. But on the fourth night, after fainting a second time on stage, he had to give up. Even so, he became the first Romanian pianist to perform for more than 77 hours continuously.
At the end of last year – in December even with this partial result he submitted the documentation to Guinness, and based on the medical observations that blamed technical errors in the hall behind what happened, he was given the opportunity to try this category again this year. He is the only person for who was given the opportunity to test himself in a specific category in two consecutive years. This september, he will sit nearby the piano again, in a new location, to break this record as well. In time, he wants to break all the Guinness World Records related to piano, as well as to add two more new categories.
As he wrote, he started with the Hungarian, Szekler and Romanian anthems, followed by “a lot of classical music” and anthems of other nations.